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Volunteering Teaches Values

By Ellen Wheeler

A happy family raised in an atmosphere of love and learning is the goal of most moms. We want to create a refuge where we can instill important values and principles. You may be familiar with the adage: The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes. But the four walls of our families do not end as we step out the threshold of our houses. Where ever we are gathered together as a family can be the “walls” of our homes. We can teach virtues and values to our children as we take them out to serve in the world. In fact, serving others is one of the best ways to instill moral principles to our kids. When our children serve next to us they learn from example and experience.

When you feed the homeless they learn compassion.

They will experience hard work planting trees or wildflowers in a park or neighborhood.

They will see you model patience as you help folks in a retirement home learn how to use the computer.

Picking up litter at the beach or a park, kids will participate in respect for themselves and for nature.

They will develop loyalty when they offer to walk a shut-in neighbor’s pet.

The spirit of sacrifice will grow in them when they give up old toys to take to a shelter.

Here is a beginning list of virtues you can teach you kids when you serve together:

Love Trust

Loyalty Cooperation

Diligence Helpfulness

Perseverance Gentleness

Attentiveness Honesty

Kindness Self-control

Patience Obedience

Forgiveness Hard work

Confidence Independence

Responsibility Creativity

Wisdom Compassion

Respect Self-sufficiency

Courage Courtesy

Joy Sociality

Humility Curiosity

Gratitude Optimism


Talk to your kids about your family values but remember that your actions speak louder than words. One of the best ways to reinforce the principles and virtues you want your kids to live is to volunteering together. is to demonstrate your values in action. Serving others allows you to show your kids that you’re willing to talk the talk AND walk the walk. Our kids may face more difficult decisions than we did in our younger years. Arm them with the memories of working next to you to build a better tomorrow.

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